Frank Chickens are Japanese Pop Art music performance group founded in London in 1982. Started as a duo with Kazuko Hohki and Kazumi Taguchi, the band has now expanded to a dozen members, including the wonderful Tsugaru Shamisen player Hibiki Ichikawa and the Enka (Japanese chanson) singer Akari Mochizuki. Frank Chickens is an assembly of the most talented Japanese women in London.
Their music is influenced by pop, punk, and traditional music particularly Japanese Minyo (folk songs), Okinawa music and Enka. Their live performances delight audience with unique choreography, satirical humour and explosive energy. It is a feast of wit and visual extravagance!
Frank Chickens initially found fame in the late 80’s scoring a chart hit with the classic single “We are Ninja – Not Geisha!”. They were regulars and favourites of DJ John Peel, recording several radio sessions for him and appearing in his Festive 50. Frank Chickens had their own TV series on Channel 4’s Kazuko’s Karaoke Klub in 1989. In 2010 thanks to the comedian Stewart Lee’s drunken late night internet rant Frank Chickens found themselves the unexpected but deserving winners of The Edinburgh Festival Comedy Gods Award.
Frank Chickens toured the world including WOMAD festival in 1983 at ICA, and in 1987 in Bristol with Drummers of Burundi, Anti-Apartheid concert in Napoli with Red Wedge with Billy Braggs, The Smith, Jerry Dammers and Paul Wellers, Glastonbury’s second stage, Sydney Trade Union Club, the rock festival in Kazakhstan, The Royal Opera House, Cafe Oto, Club Duckie at the Royal Vauxhall Tavern, most recently Latitude Festival in July 2018.
The group started as a duo (Kazuko Hohki and Kazumi Taguchi) but has expanded to almost a troop. It is still going strong, collecting most talented misfits from Japan (and the UK). Members throughout the years have included Atsuko Kamura, Chika Nakagawa, Akiko Sato, Ricca Kawai, Yumi Hara, Tomoko Minamizaki, Kinue Kato, Tomomi Sayuda, Tomoko Komura, Nao Nagai, Yoko Nishimura, Azusa Ono, Yuko Obata, Saneyuki Owada, Tatsu Ozaki, Ray Hogan, Caitlin Hogan, Masayo Aizawa, Kana Makin, Stve Nice, Eriko Kurasawa, Jacob Peterson, Harumi Tanaka, Sayuri Kamiya, Shoko Asaga, Issei Kaneko and Kuba Nowak and many many more…
In 2019, We Are Ninja will be re-released in Japan from Jet Set label (13.4.2019 – World Record Store Day)
“the excellent Frank Chickens…witty and irreverent Japanese popsters” Time Out
“great CD’s from Planet Japan…the appealingly Frank Chickens” Robert Wyatt
“challenging stereotypes, blending pop with Japanese sensibility” Victory Review, Australia
“wildly surreal…an unforgettable experience” South Wales Echo
“She’s right aff her heid” Glasgow Evening Times
Web links to Frank Chickens works:
Live performance videos:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=K9SHEYAyGaQ https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uf_vBrwaylc https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5jqxxSEy4_M
Frank Chickens Discography http://www.kazukohohki.com/frank-chickens-discography/ Frank Chickens: The Movie (2012) https://vimeo.com/50599115